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Residents upset with board

When the decision was made Thursday to place Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Jefferson on administrative leave, many parents and educators felt slighted that they were not allowed to give any input.

Monday, they took it upon themselves to have their voices heard.

Several people gathered on Broad Street in front of the Selma City Schools central office building with signs in hand to show their support for Jefferson and request a meeting with the board to discuss their decision. Early that morning, protest organizer Carolyn Robinson said, their efforts were already a success.

Robinson said she and others were able to meet with board president Henry Hicks to discuss a meeting with parents and board members.

“We are hoping they will meet with us Tuesday or no later than Wednesday,” she said. “We are asking for 6 p.m. because that will allow all the parents that have to work to be off so they can be there too.”

By Monday afternoon, the Selma City School Board announced a meeting would be held Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the School of Discovery, 400 Washington St., to allow parents to address the board.

Robinson said she was satisfied with the meeting, but the group will continue to show its support for Jefferson.

“We are expecting that, we are going to move on that, but we aren’t going to stop what we are doing,” she said. “We want our community to know we mean business. We want those board members to know we mean business and we will continue down every avenue we can pursue to get them to look at their decision and realize the mistake they are making.”

Several parents, who attended the protest, said they are tired of bickering among school board members. Karlynn Johnson, a product of the Selma City School System and a parent, said she would like to see the board concentrate on the children and not their differences.

“Our children should be the main focus of the Selma City School System, and at this point I do not feel they are adequately addressing the needs of all children,” she said. “That is why I am out here, because I am speaking out for my child and all children as a concerned parent.”

Another parent, Camella Hollaway, said she felt the decision was not the right direction at this time.

“I see Dr. Jefferson at the schools all the time and it amazes me that he knows all the children by name,” she said. “He is also very active in the Selma City Schools. I feel this is the wrong time for them to vote him out and not to have any input from the parents. This is a dark day in my heart.”

When asked, those attending the protest said they support the Selma City Schools, they simply want to have a voice in decisions that directly impact their children.
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